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Lack of football for Newcastle put forward as reason for struggling international

4 years ago

Former Middlesbrough and Rangers striker Kris Boyd wanted to make Newcastle defender Grant Hanley a scapegoat even before Friday night’s England v Scotland match.

The former Scottish international turned pundit saying ‘No harm to Grant Hanley but I’m fed up seeing him make the same mistakes’ for his country.

After the three goal defeat at Wembley, fair to say that not much has changed in Kris Boyd’s opinion of Grant Hanley.

He blames the Newcastle defender for all three goals Scotland conceded AND for failing to score at the other end, with that free header from a corner.

Boyd says that Grant Hanley is doing his best but that ‘best’ isn’t good enough.

As a reason for the alleged poor performances, Kris Boyd suggests a lack of club football could be the reason.

After being first choice at Blackburn for four years and starting 44 Championship matches last season, Hanley hasn’t started one at Newcastle in the 15 weeks following a 90 minutes against Fulham in the opening game of the season.

Since then there have only been 58 minutes as a substitute in the league, though the Newcastle defender has played in all of United’s League Cup matches.

The bottom line though is that in the past two months, Grant Hanley has only started the one game for his club, the 6-0 win over Preston in the Cup, when he had barely anything to do in the whole match.

The bottom line is that Grant Hanley is first choice for Scotland but fourth choice currently for a team in the Championship – thankfully this is not Newcastle United’s problem, rather just an illustration of the strength of the squad Rafa Benitez has built.

Kris Boyd talking to the Scottish Sun:

“We were dire at the back with big Grant Hanley’s performance everything I feared it would be.

“I said it last week…how I was sick to the back teeth of seeing him making the same mistakes.

“Well, at Wembley nothing changed.”

“I genuinely hate to slate the big man because he’s doing his best…but frankly, his best isn’t good enough.

“Is this down to the fact he has had more minutes with Scotland recently than he has done with Newcastle?

“You could point the finger at him for all three goals, he was that bad.”


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